Synopsys Prepares for the Growth of Multi-chip Market

16 June, 2022

Develops a portfolio of solutions which connect between silicon dies within the SoC (chiplets). Senior VP John Koeter: "Monolithic ASIC components are being separated into separate chips"

Above: John Koeter. “We are jointly investing and cooperating with ARM, our competitor in other IP sectors”

Synopsys believes that deep change is underway in the chip industry, which will speed up the migration to large chips built from a wide range of chiplets – connected silicon dies – that are incorporated in the package. Synopsys’  Solution Group Senior VP for Marketing and Strategy, John Koeter, told Techtime that as part of this assessment, Synopsys is strengthening the cooperation with its competitor ARM, in the area of IP (Intellectual Property) for processors, and is developing new die-to-die interconnect modules.

The Solution Group is in effect  Synopsys’ intellectual property and Design Services group. Although the company does not publish sales data by sector, a report by IPNest indicates that Synopsys’ IP sales totaled $1.076 billion in 2021, almost 20% of the estimated $5.5 billion global market. “We feel that the trend separating monolithic ASIC components into different chips in the form of chiplets is strengthening,” Koeter said.

“Today, it is possible to integrate very large silicon components with an area of 800, but it is very hard. Studies show that there will soon be a need for components with an area larger than 3,000, which is why there is no alternative to the chiplet-based approach. The industry is going in the direction that Intel showed in the Ponte Vecchio GPU for High Performance Computing (HPC), which contains 63 chiplets on a single chip.”

The Main Challenge: Die-to-Die Interconnect

“The migration to multi-die systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) has many benefits. It is possible to offer more functionalities on the processor; for example, to integrate a communications module made with a 10-nanometer process node with processors built by 5-nanometer and 3-nanometer processes. This approach lowers costs, enables the use of proven modules, improves performance, and lowers development costs by about 30%. Gartner estimates that this market will grow to around $50 billion in 2024.

John Koeter and Ehud Loewenstein (Israel Sales Director) with Habana Labs' Thank you Trophy
John Koeter and Ehud Loewenstein (Israel Sales Director) with Habana Labs’ Thank you Trophy

“These systems require fast die-to-die interconnect. This is a sector in which we are jointly investing and cooperating with ARM, our competitor in other IP sectors. We believe that the chiplet interconnectivity market (D2D I/O) will be a very large market for us, and we are now working on developing new solutions for it. The objective is to provide a complete array of D2D I/O solutions, such as communications interfaces, memory access interfaces, and more.”

What are the other major trends that you see in the market?

“We are currently the second largest IP provider in the industry, after ARM, but Synopsys has a more diverse portfolio. At any given moment, we have information on 500-600 different SoC development projects going on. On the basis of this information, we estimate that 47% of projects will yield processors made in 7-nanonmeter and smaller process technologies. The demand for manufacturing in a 5-nanometer technology is on the rise. Moore’s Law is still alive but reaching its economic limits. Another strong sector is the automotive industry, especially ADAS systems. There are a lot of 5-nanometer projects that will soon reach the automotive industry.

“However, the highest-growth sector that we identify is data centers. There is huge growth in the scope of developments in everything related to data centers: servers, storage solutions, communications cards, and so forth. We see a great many projects in edge processing and the emerging of edge data centers, with the objective of shortening latency times. This is an important sector, which is why we are also developing dedicated IP solutions to shorten latency times.”

What is the aim of your visit in Israel?

“I come to Israel at least twice a year. This time, I visited R&D centers of multinationals and also met with startups. There are so many customers and so much innovation here that, on every visit, I get new insights on the industry’s main directions. As a marketing professional responsible for strategy, it’s important for me to know these trends.”

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